Dugan must eclipse Hayne train - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Dugan must eclipse Hayne train

26/07/2011 06:11:38 PM Comments (0)

As Jarryd Hayne did for Parramatta in 2009, Canberra's Josh Dugan showed in Monday's stunning win over St George Illawarra he's capable of a superhuman finish to the NRL season.

Unfortunately for the Raiders, they'll need more than a miracle to make the finals, as they currently sit six points outside the top eight with six matches remaining.

In `09 the Eels were only three points out of the cut at the same time, while the Raiders were only two points out after round 20 when they made their flying run in 2010.

The Green Machine would need to win every match and hope the Wests Tigers and Newcastle underperform to even be a chance.

Basically, the Raiders have left their run too late, but if their come-from behind 24-19 win over the Dragons is anything to go by, the self-belief at the club hasn't died yet.

Dugan has been injury hampered all season, but came up with the big plays necessarily to pull off one of the season's most memorable victories.

His performance in the All Star match in February and his selection over Hayne for the opening State of Origin match this year, announced the arrival of Dugan as one of the game's genuine stars.

Injuries and Canberra's below-par form hasn't allowed him to blossom as expected, but the Raiders No.1 believes he can still do something special with this year.

After Jamie Soward kicked a field goal with two minutes on the clock to get the Dragons in front on Monday, most Raiders dropped their head - but not Dugan.

As soon as the shot cleared the posts, he could be seen encouraging team-mates and getting them to hurry back to halfway.

Less than a minute later he was the man pouncing on a Josh McCrone kick for the winning play.

If this same never-say-die attitude can lead the Raiders into eighth spot by September, it would be an achievement that would easily outstrip the heroics of the `Hayne train' in 09.

"We all know how talented he is, they've obviously missed him, they've hardly played any of the season with him," said Dragons coach and Dugan's All Stars mentor, Wayne Bennett.

"He's a game-winner, match-breaker."

Dugan rated the win as among the greatest in his time in the green jumper.

"It's probably one of the best ... to score three tries in the second half to none, it's a great feeling and it was on the back of our defence," he said.

It was an amazing recovery from Canberra after they were kept scoreless by Melbourne last week, the first time the Raiders had failed to score a point at home in nearly 30 years of existence.

Dugan believed the Storm has the edge on the other teams at the moment.

"Melbourne, to keep us nil last week, they've got the better of the comp at the moment and St George are right in behind them," he said.

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